How to Unclog a Blocked Toilet Without a Plunger

2,004,079

58

266

Introduction: How to Unclog a Blocked Toilet Without a Plunger

What would you do if your toilet got clogged on a Saturday evening when the shops are closed and you are about to host a curry and beer party?

This instructable will show you a simple method for unclogging a toilet using hot water and shampoo. While there are other methods of clearing a toilet drain, this is a great option for unclogging a toilet because you don’t have to touch the water.

You will need:

  • 1 clogged toilet (works best when someone has been overzealous with the toilet paper)
  • A generous amount of surfactant (i.e., Dawn Dishwashing liquid, shampoo, liquid soap, or any other cleaner that gets sudsy)
  • Hot (but not boiling) water
  • A bucket or a basin to transport water to toilet

This will only work with a toilet that is not overflowing and has some room to hold extra water.

(For squeamish people: The picture of the blocked toilet was not created with actual bodily excretions.)

Step 1: Add Shampoo and Hot Water.

Get your bottle of shampoo/ soap and squirt a generous amount into the bowl.

Follow that with a bucket of very hot water from the hot tap (not boiling).
Fill the toilet full but not overflowing.

The reason you should not use boiling is because it has been said that boiling water can cause the toilet bowl to crack (I have not personally tested this assertion though as I do not have the money to buy a new toilet).
Then go have a cup of tea and let the blockage 'marinate'.

Step 2: Return and See Your Handy Work.

Hopefully after a few minutes the water level will have lowered. (Hot water helps break up toilet paper quicker and the soap lubricates the passage of solid material).
If nothing has happened wait 10 minutes more. If still nothing has happened you will probably need to use a different method (or bail some of the water out and add more hot water/ soap).

If the water level is lower than before add more soap and more hot water (hot water does not need to be as hot as the first time as this time there is less water in the toilet to heat up).
Again wait for water to drain (this should be quicker).

Repeat the process until water flows freely.

Step 3: Done

Done.
Remind your party goers to treat your toilet with respect and only put bodily excretions and small amounts of toilet paper in.

Fix It Contest

Participated in the
Fix It Contest

4 People Made This Project!

Recommendations

  • Hand Tools Only Challenge

    Hand Tools Only Challenge
  • Modify It Speed Challenge

    Modify It Speed Challenge
  • Remix Contest

    Remix Contest

266 Discussions

1
SpicyCheese
SpicyCheese

3 months ago

Thanks so much for this amazing tip. I signed up just to extend my gratitude. The toilet was draining so slowly. I used washing up liquid and very hot water from the tap. Whatever the blockage was, this softened it up. I was a bit impatient so gave it a gentle plunge too, and now it flushes like a dream. I'm adding this to my favourites, if only to read some of the comments again!

0
ruffles33
ruffles33

Reply 2 months ago

I agree. Worked a treat. Was so worried I will have to call a plumber.

0
ani ka
ani ka

8 months ago

i thought it was really hopeless case.. been plunging for couple of hours and no signs of improvement.. then i came across this, i tried it and with a bit of luck it was draining little by little.. i literally read every comment i see for encouragement while waiting.. after almost an hour i tried plunging it again, just a few seconds, it then flushed like magic.. i'm not really into this leaving a comment thing, it's too much of a hassle to sign up but i did took time to thank you and tell others not to lose hope and try this.. it's really helpful.. saved me a lot of money for plumber

0
Xyzxyzxyzxyz900009
Xyzxyzxyzxyz900009

1 year ago

Omg thank you so much :'0
Yes I also signed up only to say thank you and to tell others not to get discouraged if it doesn't work at first, it took me about two hours and a shitload of hot water, dishwasher soap and laundry detergand but then it finally worked !!

0
TraceyC59
TraceyC59

Reply 1 year ago

Don't know yet

0
NavdeepK12
NavdeepK12

1 year ago

Who ever posted these instructions, you are a life saver. Bless you. Toilet was blocked for 10 hrs. After several plumbers no movement. Googled for help and poured washing liquid and boiling water it cleared in 5 mins. This is first first ever review in life time! Bless you. Thank you.

0
randalosgood
randalosgood

1 year ago on Step 1

Keep the water temp below 180° or so if you have PVC or other plastic plumbing in the house. PVC softens at that temp and too long an exposure and your plumbing could disconnect itself. Bad news! No boiling water!

0
TanyaM72
TanyaM72

2 years ago on Introduction

Wow. This worked. I had to do the steps 3 times but then the water went and toilet flushes as normal Using dishing washing soap worked better than shampoo. Thanks!

0
FionaO7
FionaO7

2 years ago on Step 3

Just wanted to say that this has saved me tonight, otherwise I would have flushed my 4yeqr old down the toilet. The usual toilet tissue pushed down with a toilet brush by my four year old. Your method worked instantly with much much thanks.

0
Yinka1
Yinka1

2 years ago

Yay it worked! I used boiling water though and a small cup of washing powder! It worked first time.Thank you!

0
OkhumoideK
OkhumoideK

2 years ago

My kid stuffed loads of tissue in the toilet. This technique worked 100%.

First used boiling water with shampoo and detergent but that was taking abit long... so boiled more water...added liquid dishwasher, shampoo, detergent and fabric conditioner and poured it and it just flowed instantly! Thanks.

15233579436543977025559582687790.jpg
0
GuLp1PLH
GuLp1PLH

Question 2 years ago on Step 1

How much is a generous amount? How long should I let it marinate? Should I fill the toilet full even with the water level low?

0
AriëlleT2
AriëlleT2

2 years ago

It also works with powdered laundry detergent after you let it get full of suds under the bathtub faucet

0
AmalitaB
AmalitaB

2 years ago

its gotta feel good that almost 5 years after OP people are signing up for an account just to say thank! thanks! it worked instantly.. you have saved our marriage...this time. lol.

0
RayC123
RayC123

2 years ago

Holy cr@p Batman, put some cheap shampoo and hot water down and it worked, nearly called the homeserve people, would have cost me £50. Brilliant.

0
MOSES001
MOSES001

2 years ago

I tried it and it worked in minutes. I had a clogged toilet that I was trying to flush waiting for it to go down and the flushing with a bucket but it was not working. I saw your page, followed the instruction and unvelievably, in minutes I was clog free. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

0
devontaffy
devontaffy

2 years ago

WOW!!!!!! the bowl cleared almost immediately.thanks.

0
ElaineL55
ElaineL55

3 years ago

Thank you! This simple process really does work - unclogged my bathroom in less than 5 minutes.

0
homevidu
homevidu

3 years ago

thank you, it worked very well in the first instance. I used coles dis-washing liquid and boiling water. waited for 10 minutes it did not work so I left to shops for grocery shoping when I returned I had a clean toilet. Wow amazing:)

0
guavabum
guavabum

3 years ago

just signed up to say thank you and how much trouble it saved me!! I pulled 6 kettle of almost boiled water down and the whole process took around 20 mins , I was about to give up hope and go out and get a plunger also contemplating getting a plumber, then voila, it all worked!!!